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23 July 2019

More than just a name change…

Before we get underway, no, you’ve not come to the wrong place. It’s still me, albeit with a fresh coat of paint and a striking new name to boot! 

No longer operating under the banner of my previous agency, I’m delighted to announce the beginnings of an exciting new chapter as Carmichael Collective.

So the branding agency has rebranded, I hear you cry, rolling your eyes, what’s so spectacular about that?

Firstly, Carmichael Collective is not just any old agency (which I’ll come back to shortly) and secondly, as I’ve undoubtedly explained many times, there’s a great deal more to rebranding than a change of logo and a new name. 

A rebrand is many different things — things far deeper than what we see on the surface.

Rebranding is a realignment of purpose. It’s also about establishing a purpose that might’ve been lost, unclear, or never present to begin with. A rebrand can be a celebration of the past while embracing the future, or it could be a completely fresh start, a clean slate.

Almost always, however, a rebrand is a statement of intent; a new direction and, crucially, a very different way of doing things, for the better.

It’s this continual pursuit of all things better, in both our personal and professional endeavours, that’s perhaps most important of all — to be able to step back, re-evaluate and apply new learnings in such a way that take us where we need to go.

Take the following story as a prime example: 

I’ve enjoyed some great business relationships in my career and when I look back, I’m often pleasantly surprised how long many of them have been in place. While out for dinner (okay, a curry) with one such client I’ve worked with for many years now — providing marketing support throughout his career within various organisations — the conversation turned to my own business and how things were going there.

I was growing my old agency at the time, opening up another office in Leeds, but must’ve expressed my concerns about the whole thing because he looked at me all of a sudden and asked, “Why?”

“Why Murray, why are you always looking to grow your agency?”

It was a good question — and then he hit me with another: “What do you think will eventually happen?”

I couldn’t answer. Maybe it was the curry.

Then he said, “As a client, I want to work with you. It may be your team of whip-smart ninjas working the production line but without your personal involvement, what’s the difference between going to yours or any other marketing agency?

“Why not set up as yourself but instead of building a bigger team, assemble a trusted network that can deliver under your expert co-ordination.”

Whatever I must’ve said to prompt this advice; I had to admit I never expected him to suggest that. All the same, we wrapped up the evening with a few more drinks, naturally, and I came away mulling the whole thing over.

Fast forward a year later and here we are — very different to most other agencies in that we’re leaner, unencumbered and because we don’t have to fill capacity for certain types of work, we don’t feel the need to push any of our services onto our clients. If it’s right for the client, then great, we can do it. If not, then it’s a service we would never recommend.

I’m also spending a lot more meaningful time with clients this way; becoming an integral member of their organisation in matters beyond purely marketing — something that not only gives me tremendous joy but also brings enormous value to clients at a much lesser cost than when I was running my old agency. 

Above all, after many, many years as an experienced business owner, it pleasantly surprises me there are — even now — still opportunities to keep learning and to continue my pursuit of a better (even if not bigger), different kind of agency.

So yes, we’ve rebranded, but it’s so much more than just a name change.